Report | Oct. 9, 2012

Army Contracting Command – Aberdeen Proving Ground Contracting Center’s Management of Noncompetitive Awards Was Generally Justified

DODIG-2013-003

What We Did

Our objective was to determine whether DoD noncompetitive contract awards were properly justified as sole source at the Army Contracting Command – Aberdeen Proving Ground (ACC-APG) Contracting Center, Aberdeen, Maryland. We reviewed 30 noncompetitive contracts with a combined obligated value of about $529.2 million that ACC-APG contracting personnel awarded in FYs 2009 and 2010.

What We Found

ACC-APG contracting personnel adequately justified contracts as sole source for 28 of the 30 noncompetitive contracts. However, contracting personnel did not provide adequate justification for the noncompetitive award of two contracts. ACC-APG contracting personnel did not:

  • approve the Justification and Approval (J&A) until 462 days after contract award for one contract because of funding and organizational changes; or
  • produce evidence that a J&A was completed or that market research was adequately documented for one contract. We made multiple attempts to obtain the contract documentation; however, ACC-APG contracting personnel did not provide an adequate reason for why the documentation was not included in the contract file. In addition, ACC-APG contracting personnel did not include one or both of the statements required in nine contracts to ensure that interested sources were aware of actions they can take to compete for the contracts. As a result, ACC-APG contracting personnel did not approve the J&A within a reasonable time after contract award as required by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). Also, ACC-APG contracting personnel did not have adequate documentation justifying the award of one contract as sole source. In addition, interested sources may not have been aware of actions they could have taken to compete for nine contract awards because ACC-APG contracting personnel did not follow applicable FAR guidance.

What We Recommend

We recommend that the Executive Director, ACC-APG:

  • issue guidance establishing the number of days that a J&A must be approved within when a contract is awarded before approval of a J&A, or require the contracting officer to document the reason(s) for the delay;
  • issue a memorandum emphasizing the importance of completing a J&A in accordance with FAR 6.303, adequately performing and documenting market research in accordance with FAR part 10, and including the statements required by FAR 5.207; and
  • review the performance of the contracting officer who awarded noncompetitive contract W15P7T-10-C-S225 to determine whether administrative action is warranted.

Management Comments and Our Response

The Army agreed with all four of our recommendations. We consider the Army’s comments to be responsive. No further comments are required.